Why You Were Meant to Root for Gonzaga

Gonzaga forward Drew Timme celebrates his basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Loyola Marymount in Spokane, Wash., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Gonzaga won 86-69. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Young Kwak/Associated Press

Welcome to the Gonzaga bandwagon, where the ferocious Bulldogs are the furthest thing from underdogs.


Gonzaga's Tourney History

Although not a big-conference juggernaut, Gonzaga is a major March Madness mainstay.

The Bulldogs haven't missed an NCAA tournament this century, making the bracket every year since Mark Few took over as head coach in 1999.

Despite dancing for decades, Gonzaga is still pursuing its first national title. As a No. 1 seed, the Bulldogs reached the Final Four for the first time in 2017, only to lose to North Carolina in the championship game. They also stormed into the 2019 tournament as a top seed, but this looks to be Gonzaga's best squad yet.


This Year's Best Players

Young Kwak/Associated Press

Jalen Suggs can solidify his case as a top-five pick in this year's NBA draft. The freshman guard is the perfect catalyst for an exciting, high-octane offense that can outscore anybody. Look for him to bring high energy to both sides of the court.

However, this is far from a one-man show. Forward Corey Kispert has emerged as a top scorer in his senior year, and Drew Timme provides a formidable presence in the paint. Outside Kispert, this team relies heavily on underclassmen, so don't expect this program to slow down anytime soon.


Why They're Going to Win

Everyone loves a Cinderella squad that defies the odds and busts brackets, but isn't it also fun watching excellence prevail?

Gonzaga is the deserving favorite. After all, the Bulldogs began the year ranked No. 1 and haven't budged since.

But they're also not a big, bad dynasty hogging the spotlight. Gonzaga combines dominant play with the feel-good nature of a small-conference school finally receiving its long-overdue "One Shining Moment."